Kathmandu Metropolitan City has announced relief package for daily wage earners living inside the city as fear of food crisis looms large among people employed in the informal sector.

A decision to this effect was taken by Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya. A meeting of Municipal Executive had recently established a fund of Rs 100 million for prevention and control of COVID-19. KMC has appropriated necessary amount to all ward offices from the fund.

“The concerned ward offices will provide relief to homeless and daily wage earners,” read a press release issued by KMC today. KMC has decided to collect details of extremely poor persons and daily wage earners, who have been living in their ward for the past six months.

Though the government recently said no one should die of hunger during the nationwide lockdown that has deprived tens of thousands of poor people and daily wagers of their livelihoods, it has yet to announce a comprehensive relief package for them.

Lockdown imposed by the government to combat the spread of CIVID-19 has confined people to their homes and suspended all economic activities. Rights bodies have expressed concern about devastating impact of the shutdown on the poor people, who work in informal sector with no or few savings to return to normalcy even after the lockdown is lifted soon.

Thousands of poor people and daily wagers, including street vendors from different parts of the country have been stranded in Kathmandu for the past few days after all transport services were brought to a grinding halt.

Those begged on the streets and temple areas have also been badly hit by the unprecedented crisis. A study conducted by Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens revealed that a majority of people begged on the premises of temples in and outside Kathmandu valley due to poverty.

In some cases, physical disability, mental illness and poor health conditions have pushed the deprived and excluded people to beg on the streets.